Movies are the most famous form of entertainment to most of the people around the world. From inspiring people to making people laugh – movies are always the best medicine when you are sad, depressed, happy, or bored. It works at least for me and many other movie buffs like me. There are various genres of movies like political drama, crime, murder mystery, adventure, comedy, satirical comedy, romantic comedy, etc. Apart from all these, there has been a development of another genre of movies. Which has been quite rampant in India since the last two decades and that is called “road” genre. These are movies where the lead characters are traveling through amazing locales, taking the story forward, & bringing twists and turns in the plot. Some show traveling via cruise, some through motorcycle, some through airplanes, and some through a car. The characters are supposed to reach a destination and by the end of these movies, the characters not only reach their destinations but their perspective about themselves, surroundings, and life change too!
That’s why travel movies are always special. They inspire and motivate the weak. They urge lazy people to move around beautiful locales. These movies work like a beautiful dream and make you believe that travel helps in untangling the knots in life.
So, here are some of my all-time favorite travel or road movies from Bollywood & Hollywood!
Piku: Road Trip From Delhi’s Belly To Kolkata
When the idea of “road trip” comes to the mind, you generally think of your best friends or at the most, you can take a chance with your colleagues. But never ever could anyone think of a dad-daughter duo taking a road trip from C.R. Park, Delhi to Central Kolkata. But Juhi Chaturvedi (writer) narrates a wonderful story of a 70-year-old dad who is an eccentric person and his relationship with his bowel system. His disturbed and unsatisfactory bowel system is always the topic of discussion at the dinner table and his daughter is always irritated for his behavior.
Amitabh Bachchan playing Bhaskor Banerjee is never good to the neighbors or the maid and is also very clear that Piku (Deepika Padukone) should not marry & leave him. One night after a few drinks and dance, he had a heart attack and after recovering he decides to go to Kolkata as he is missing his own land. Due to his disturbed bowel system, and lots of other apprehensions, he decides for a road trip. The movie beautifully captures the heart of Delhi from the posh clubs to C.R. Park lanes, Select City Walk to the famous traffic and also the ghats of Kolkata, Church, local railway stations. In fact, Shookit Sircar (director) captured the “not so filmy-popular” locales of both the cities. He also captured the narrow dingy lanes of Banaras too! There is an emotion, love, understanding, care, and belonging to this travel story. Piku lost her father after this trip but she gained many other perspectives too! So, here, the travel was not only physical but also emotional.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: It’s All About Spain & Friendship
Three best friends meet after a gap of few years. The reason is a “promise” that they made to each other during college days that they will go for a road trip to Spain together. For some time, this trip has been canceled or postponed due to differences between two friends. But as it is the bachelor trip of the third friend, all of them make up their mind for Spain.
In this huge expanse of Spain, they visit the La Tomatina Festival in Buñol, Costa Brava, Seville, and Pamplona. Now, the deal was, all three of them had to plan some kind of adventure sport on this road trip and the other two had to agree. So, deep sea diving, sky diving, and participating in the “running of the bulls” are the three adventure sports that the leads of the movie encounter. With each sport adventure, their principle, belief, conscience, and fear of 3 friends altered. They confessed truth, secrets, and fears of their lives to each other on that road trip which was meant only for an adventure. That was the most amazing beauty of ZNMD. The beautiful cinematography by Carlos Catalan and amazing screenplay by Zoya-Reema duo make this movie a gem. Every travel enthusiast is a lover of this movie.
The Motorcycle Diaries: When Che Guevara Travelled Across South America
Che Guevara – Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist was a prominent figure of the Cuban Revolution. His stylized appearance has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture. Che used to write a diary or memoir about his trip all over South America with his friend Alberto Granado. It is not only a road movie. But it is also about coming-of-age, adventure, youthful profligacy, injustice, prevailing social classes, and economic inequalities. The 23-year-old medical student on his road trip learns almost everything about life on this trip. This trip actually planted the seeds of revolt in Che Guevara and that’s why it is a must watch. Watch South America from the Andes Mountain to the coasts of Chile, the Atacama deserts to the Machu Picchu – Eric Gautier have done beautiful cinematography.
The Hangover: The Craziest Trip Ever
This is a cult Hollywood comedy movie that dealt with the story of 4 friends who goes to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. Now, the fun extends to some trouble and they face all of that together with lots of craziness and returns just on time on the day of the wedding at the venue. They form a chain of dirty secrets on that trip and promise to keep them under the wraps forever. You should never pray your bachelor party to be like this for sure. But you will always want to have some crazy memories with your besties on a road trip – right? This movie will give you that boost.
Highway: It Started With A Kidnap
The dark loneliness of Delhi at night & the unpopulated highway leads a group of goons to kidnap a young “soon to be married” girl. She belongs to a rich and influential family in Delhi. Her life changes completely when she is abducted by these goons. They kidnap her first in a car and then shifts to a truck. From Haryana, they take the girl to Rajasthan then to Gujarat, and then to Himachal Pradesh. Through this journey, you will not see the posh locales at all.
The cinematographer Anil Mehta had captured the rustic and pure natural beauty of India. The rugged terrains of the Himalaya or the loneliness of the Rann of Kuchh. Or the vast sugarcane fields of North India – the unsophisticated soul of these places just propels into your heart and stays forever. The best part of the movie is that the upper-class girl is kidnapped and while the goons are taking her to “not made for her” places she understands that she is free here in this whole “kidnapping” phase than she has ever been in her life. She understands herself better and forms an everlasting bind with the one who kidnapped her! Finally, you realize that human emotion is the same – over geographies & social boundaries!